ATHIRD of all children starting school have tooth decay, say the British Dental Health Foundation and a quarter of adults don’t visit a dentist. These are just some of the startling facts regarding the nations dental health, revealed as part of National Smile Month1 in a bid to inspire better oral health.
Three in every ten adults suffer from regular dental pain, a quarter of adults don’t brush their teeth twice a day and over four-fifths of the population have at least one filling.
National Smile Month, May 20 to June 20, reaches around 50 million people each year and is the biggest and most effective annual reminder of the importance of good oral health. But there is still more work to do say the foundation.
According to the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009, in Wales 10% of adults have no natural teeth, 47% of adults have tooth decay, 29% of adults don’t brush their teeth twice a day and a huge 77% of adults have visible dental plaque “Poor oral health doesn’t just cause problems inside the mouth,” said a British Dental Health Foundation spokesperson.
“A smile is hugely important to our personalities, self-confidence, relationships and success. General health is also at risk too as studies continue to associate poor oral health to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, pneumonia, premature babies and other major conditions. With a good oral health routine, most of these conditions are preventable and your support during National Smile Month can make a big difference.”
The British Dental Health Foundation”s Chief Executive Dr Nigel Carter said: “Getting people to talk and think about their teeth and dental habits is vital to our goal of improving the state of oral health not only in the UK but worldwide.
“The impact of poor oral hygiene is often underestimated and someone’s poor oral health can be a pre-cursor to a number of serious health issues such as stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies. National Smile Month is about encouraging people to take better care of their smile and ultimately their general health.
“We have had a tremendous response to the campaign. So far thousands of organisations have registered and will be spreading the messages and joining in the fun.”